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Are You Ready to Follow Jesus in 2021?

In many Methodist churches around the world the first Sunday in January is often the Covenant Service when people come together to say the Covenant Prayer that John Wesley introduced to early Methodism so that people would renew their commitment to Jesus at the start of the year. Originally the service was held as part of the watchnight service on New Year’s Eve so that the Covenant Prayer was the first thing they said as the New Year began. 

It is a beautiful but very difficult prayer to pray with sincerity. Often people would avoid going to church on the day the prayer was said because they could not bring themselves to say it. 

In the Inspire Movement we often use the Covenant Prayer as part of our regular devotions. It helps to remind us what it means to follow Jesus’ command: â€œIf any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me.” Matthew 16:24

This adaption simplifies some of the old-English language, but it is still a challenge to pray it. Are you ready and willing? Maybe this could be your New Year Resolution for 2021. If not, perhaps this is an opportunity to reflect on what’s getting in the way of being a follower of Jesus. 

Dear Father God,
I am no longer my own, but yours.
Your will be done, not mine, in all things:
Wherever you may place me,
And among those you put me,
In all that you call me to do, or to endure
Let me be put to work for you, or laid aside for you;
Let me be praised for you, or despised for you.
When I find fulfilment, and when it is lacking;
When I have all things, and when I have nothing.
I freely and wholeheartedly give you my life,
All that I have and all that I am, for your pleasure and purpose,
To serve you, as you choose.
Glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
You are mine and I am yours.
May it be so for ever.

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